While depth is relative to the ground conditions a detector is expected to work in, and also relative to the actual detector technology being used, it’s also relative to the interpretive interface making the “call” namely the operator. Chris Ralph, a very good friend of mine, once made a very important observation on camera, he said “It’s not about the gold you miss but about the gold you find”, wise words and very poignant in this day and age when gold is becoming more difficult to find.
Recently, I revisited an old location that has produced a few scattered nuggets over the last 15 years or so. I was using the GPZ 7000 and was basically randomly selecting less productive areas on a “you’ve got to be in it to win it” approach. I often do this because it can have surprising benefits, especially when I get my hands on new technology. This detector does some amazing things with target signals, some of which have been very loud and shallow, yet have obviously been missed by previous operators using different detectors. This location was a classic example of just such a place. I’d worked it thoroughly before because the finds had justified the effort, so it was on my “to do” list for the GPZ.
Literally 2 minutes into working the area whilst re-scoping and re-familiarising myself (looking for my old refilled dig holes and familiar landmarks in the heavy timber), I got a typical broad low/high response which could only mean one thing! This signal brought out goose bumps on my arms and was a sure-fire sign I was in familiar money-making territory. 10 inches down and out popped a solid 9-gram chunk. This nugget size falls right in the sweet spot for High Yield/Difficult, in combination with the GPZ 14 coil, and provides a very clear advantage over the GPX 5000 with whatever coil you prefer to put on it. Although not deep (a 5000 easily punches this deep on some nuggets), on this particular nugget my 5000 performed poorly as indicated by one of my old refilled dig holes only a few feet away.
Immediately this nugget put a whole new slant on the location and suddenly I was in a “.... It’s about the gold you find” frame of mind. My ‘gold radar’ was now on full strength mode as I came to terms with the obvious potential of the GPZ 7000 at this location. So, careful re-gridding of the area was put into full effect, bringing a further 4 grams of ‘sluggy’ gold to light. A few thirsty hours later, I made my way through some prickle bush to get back to my quad bike and got ‘slammed’ by a huge signal on the edge of the animal pad I was walking along. I distinctly remember detecting this path on many previous occasions so was surprised by how loud and obvious it was. There was some trash about the place, mostly surface stuff that is easily recognisable, but this signal sounded different even though it was loud. It had a mellowness to it that demanded to be investigated.
I was continually ‘thrown’ by this target as I excavated the hole, digging way too small a hole relative to the eventual 12 inches depth. I was constantly expecting it to be in the ‘spoils’ as I dug the target out, thinking it was much shallower than it eventually ended up being. This is typical of a target that responds well to ZVT technology. Finally, a piece of quartz came to light which had an undeniable heft to it, not the big nugget I was hoping for but an excellent result for the morning’s efforts, despite the heat building up. All up weight was 90 grams with anywhere from 1 to 1 ½ ounces of high purity Central Queensland gold enclosed. Add that to the 13 grams in other nuggets I’d found earlier and I had a nice return for my investment especially after originally taking a gamble on the location. Sometimes “It’s not about the gold you miss it’s about the gold you find”.
© Jonathan Porter 2017.